5 Reasons why Mark Zuckerberg is changing Facebook’s name to Meta
Facebook’s new corporate name is Meta, according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, in an apparent effort to rebrand the company from a damaged social network to a tech pioneer focused on creating the “metaverse,” the next generation of online interaction.
The Facebook app, which is used by over 3 billion people every month all across the world, will remain its name. Zuckerberg, addressing at the firm’s Connect virtual reality conference, said it’s time to rebrand the company to reflect its larger goals.
He stated, “It’s time for us to establish a new business brand that encompasses all we do.” “From now on, we’re going to prioritize the metaverse over Facebook.”
Seventeen years after Zuckerberg founded Facebook in his Harvard dorm room, the company’s reputation has been tarnished by a series of scandals, ranging from Russian meddling in the 2016 election to the Cambridge Analytica data privacy scandal, which broke in 2018, to the damaging revelations made by former employee turned whistleblower Frances Haugen last month.
Even as the firm has been hammered by a barrage of negative press coverage based on Haugen’s trove of internal documents, Zuckerberg has steadfastly maintained his focus on the metaverse, calling it as the corporation’s new “North Star” on Thursday.
He believes the metaverse will be the next big computing platform to which people will devote their attention and dollars in the coming years. And he wants the newly christened Meta to play a key role in its creation and commercialization.
“The development of our social media apps will always be a priority for us. However, our brand is currently so closely associated with one product that it can’t possibly represent everything we’re doing now, let alone in the future “According to Zuckerberg.
So, what exactly is the metaverse?
He revealed the new moniker in a glittering video presentation that also served as an introduction to the metaverse, a futuristic and ill-defined notion that has recently become a Silicon Valley buzzword.
Neal Stephenson, a science fiction writer, created the word metaverse in his 1992 novel Snow Crash. It’s a term used by enthusiasts to describe immersive virtual locations where individuals may play games, go to concerts, meet up with friends, and purchase a variety of digital goods and services.
In Thursday’s slickly produced movie, Facebook displayed many of these activities, including Zuckerberg riding a virtual reality electric hydrofoil (a nod to his real-life pastime), fighting with a hologram, and wandering through a 3D-rendering of his “living space.”
Facebook announced earlier this week that its expenditure on virtual reality and other next-generation goods and services will eat into its total operating profit by $10 billion this year. It also revealed ambitions to hire 10,000 people in Europe to help construct the metaverse over the next five years.
On Thursday, Zuckerberg stated that he expects to invest “many billions of dollars” for years to come, painting a picture of a future in which a billion people use the metaverse and it generates hundreds of billions of dollars in digital commerce — while acknowledging that this is still “a long way off.”
Zuckerberg stated, “We are absolutely committed to this.” “It’s the next step in our work and, we believe, in the evolution of the internet.”
In a nod to Facebook’s lengthy history of crises, Zuckerberg spent a significant portion of his talk emphasizing that the firm will prioritize privacy and security as it develops new virtual services and hardware.
“From the beginning, privacy norms will be integrated into the metaverse,” he stated. “One of the lessons I’ve learned over the last five years is that these concepts must be emphasized from the beginning.”
The adjustment could be critical to the company’s survival.
It takes more than Zuckerberg’s enthusiasm in Silicon Valley’s latest trend to stay on top of the next great thing in IT. It’s about his company’s survival, which is dependent on gaining younger customers.
Facebook is concerned about losing relevance as its user base ages, according to the stolen internal documents. According to a March internal research published by Bloomberg, people under 30 are spending less time on Facebook, posting less, and sending fewer messages.
Meanwhile, Instagram is losing teens to other social media platforms, a situation the business has highlighted as an “existential threat,” according to the New York Times. Instagram is seen as a pipeline for younger users who will eventually age into its other programs.
On Monday, Zuckerberg told investors that the company is refocusing on appealing to young adults ages 18 to 29, rather than the older demographic that has formed its core. He mentioned TikTok, a short video app that he described as “one of the most effective opponents we have ever faced.”
The company’s major restructuring comes as Congress considers stricter rules for the tech industry, with some politicians comparing it to Big Tobacco in its heyday.
“Facebook is going through so much turbulence, so much criticism,” said Prashant Malaviya, a marketing professor at Georgetown University’s McDonough School of Business. “The name change risks looking like you’re trying to hide something.”
Changing names has a mixed record of success.
In times of crises, other companies have changed their names, with varying success. When Philip Morris, the producer of Marlboro cigarettes, announced plans to rebrand itself Altria in 2001, a former FDA commissioner accused the corporation of “running away from tobacco.”
The Altria rebranding, according to Malaviya, was successful at the corporate level, but the corporation never attempted to change the name of Marlboro, the product that customers were familiar with.
Similarly, the Facebook social network, dubbed the “big blue app” internally, isn’t going anywhere.
“Facebook as a brand will continue to exist. The app will be available. Instagram will continue to exist “Malaviya remarked. “And that’s where the company’s actions are causing us trouble.”
In 2015, Google reorganized under a new parent company called Alphabet, and the business’s founders gave over control of its valuable search engine — yet the corporation is still popularly referred to as “Google.”
Don’t anticipate the name “Facebook” to vanish from discussion or headlines, according to Malaviya, based on history.
“Even if they’re talking about this new corporation, Wall Street and Main Street might still say, ‘Well, sure, that’s still Facebook.'”